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Saturday, July 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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TUESDAY, JUNE 10, 2014

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 12, 2014

Educator Joins Superintendent Race 19 

A Mountain Home educator is jumping into the open Republican race for state schools superintendent. Sherri Ybarra says she will focus on three areas in her campaign: providing students with 21st century abilities, not overtesting students, and providing students with a safe and supportive environment....

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THURSDAY, FEB. 6, 2014

Otter Told Luna To Hold Off Decision 

Hours before Tom Luna made his surprise announcement that he would not seek re-election, Gov. Butch Otter placed a pre-dawn phone call asking the schools chief to hold off. State Superintendent Tom Luna, left, announces his decision not to run for re-election on Jan. 27....

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WiFi: Feds Could Force State Payment 

If the federal government voids an Idaho broadband project contract, Idaho could be forced to pay back nearly $13.5 million to the feds, state Department of Administration director Teresa Luna said Thursday. Funding for Idaho’s high school broadband network is in indefinite “limbo,” as a...

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MONDAY, SEPT. 16, 2013

SR: Idaho Needs Education Fix 

The current state of education in Idaho could be condensed into one of those melodramatic movie trailers: “In a world where 60 percent of jobs require some post-secondary education, fewer than 40 percent of Idahoans have any credentials beyond a high school diploma.” In fact,...

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THURSDAY, SEPT. 12, 2013

Luna Has Friends' Backs, Vice Versa 

It doesn't get much cozier than this. Education Networks of America would not have a five- to 15-year contract to install WiFi in Idaho's high schools were it not for state school Superintendent Tom Luna. Now that Luna is in trouble over the deal, ENA...

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Luna: Kids Meet Too Low Standards 

Idaho’s education system faces a “stark reality,” state schools Superintendent Tom Luna told a special legislative committee this morning: “Kids are meeting our standards, but they aren’t the right standards any more.” The state has a “very high graduation rate, one of the highest in...

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MONDAY, SEPT. 9, 2013

Luna's WiFi Contract Is A Mess 

Idaho lawmakers are pressuring state schools superintendent Tom Luna to rework the terms of a Wi-Fi contract he stubbornly authorized in July, but the larger questions of why this deal was done remain unanswered. Lawmakers were stunned when they learned that Luna was about to...

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FRIDAY, AUG. 16, 2013

Oops! Idaho grad requirements

It turns out that when Idaho increased its high school graduations for math and science to require three years of each, the definition of classes that qualified didn't include advanced engineering or computer science classes. As a result, students who wanted to take those classes...

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THURSDAY, AUG. 8, 2013

Luna Seeks Student Data Protection 

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna called on Gov. Butch Otter and legislators to safeguard data the state collects from public schools. In a letter sent Thursday to Otter, Senate Education Committee Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, and House Education Committee Chairman Reed DeMordaunt, R-Eagle,...

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Wi-Fi: How ENA Landed Contract 

On Wednesday, we broke the story that Education Networks of America landed the controversial multiyear high school WiFi contract, even though four bidders beat the company’s price. The takeaway on what happened: The nine people who reviewed the 10 bids gave ENA a decided —...

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4 Bidders Beat ENI 'Winning' Wi-Fi Bid 

The state Education Department received 10 bids for its controversial high school WiFi contract — and four bids were less expensive than the winning bid. Education Networks of America‘s price tag — $2,111,655 for the first year, $10,558,275 over five years — was by no...

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Rusche: Luna Doesn't Follow Process 

Rep. JMRusche (re: Wi-Fi Deal: State downplays error): "I worry about the State's ability to develop and manage contracts. Molina Medicaid, dept of ed longitudinal data system (x2), CCA or prison health, and the laptops contract (cancelled with the defeat of the referendum last fall)--all...

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TUESDAY, AUG. 6, 2013

Wi-Fi Deal: State Downplays Error 

When the state Education Department went out for bids on the controversial WiFi installation project, the department issued a list of 333 schools that could qualify for the service. It turns out that the state’s own list was inaccurate — inflated, by roughly one-third. But...

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FRIDAY, AUG. 2, 2013

54% Of Schools Seek State WiFI

182 of 340 eligible schools have signed up to participate in the state's new statewide high school WiFi contract, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna announced this morning; schools had until midnight last night to decide whether or not to opt in for the...

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Poll: Luna Will Hire On w/Onliner

Thursday Poll: 39 of 84 respondents (46.43%) say Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna will hire on with a WiFi or online company rather than seek re-election. Another 18 (21.43%) said Luna won't seek re-election. 17 (20.24%) expect him to run for a third term. 10...

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Luna: No Politics In WiFi Contract 

Item: School Wi-Fi contract defended: State schools chief: No political influence involved/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press More Info: Idaho public schools superintendent Tom Luna said Thursday that the now controversial contract for Wi-Fi service in the state's high schools was developed according to the specific...

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Luna Faces Common Core Foes 

Item: Luna explains Common Core: Idaho standards will be in place in schools this fall/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press More Info: A group of North Idaho opponents of the Common Core initiative went head-to-head Thursday in Coeur d'Alene with one of the effort's leading proponents,...

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TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013

Durst: Luna Getting Ready To Bail 23 

"And now, Luna has signed a multiyear contract with ENA to provide wireless internet in Idaho high schools, despite not having the legislative authority to do so and ENA clearly not having the best bid. Luna has also appointed Quarles, his longtime ally to become...

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FRIDAY, JULY 26, 2013

Officials: Don't judge wireless pact on price 

Idaho officials concede the five-year, $2.1 million annual contract the state Department of Education signed Wednesday with a Tennessee company to install Wi-Fi service in public high schools may cost more per-school than deals districts negotiate on their own, the AP reports, but they insist...

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Editorial: Luna owes explanation 

“Students Come First” was the name of Idaho state schools chief Tom Luna’s controversial school reforms, which included a dramatic increase in online learning. But the lesson he has failed to learn is that communication comes first in pushing significant change. First, teachers complained they...

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Luna Awards Possible $33.3M Wifi Pact 

Idaho state schools Superintendent Tom Luna has awarded a multimillion-dollar wireless contract to Education Networks of America, choosing the Nashville, Tenn. firm to provide WiFi in every Idaho high school for up to the next 15 years; the contract could cost the state up to...

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Luna Pushing Ahead w/Wifi Contract 11 

Idaho schools Superintendent Tom Luna still plans to go ahead with awarding a multi-year, multimillion-dollar contract for high school WiFi today, according to his spokeswoman, Melissa McGrath. “I hope it’s today – we’re just finalizing it, but hopefully within the next couple of hours,” McGrath...

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Solons At Odds w/Luna Wifi Contract 

Idaho state schools chief Tom Luna is about to sign a 15-year, multimillion-dollar contract for a private company to set up Wi-Fi networks in every high school in the state, even though the Legislature never approved the move. Luna is scheduled to award the contract...

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MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013

2014 Elections: Blockbuster Or Bore?

Thirteen months out from the 2014 Idaho primaries, and a little more than 18 months away from the general election, what can we expect? Perhaps a snoozer? Randy Stapilus — a longtime Northwest political observer and former Idaho newspaper editor — advances that theory in...

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.